He Cromwell

A reprise of my review of Hilary Mantel‘s trilogy. I have finished The Mirror and the Light. It’s huge, deep, intricate, mesmerising and probably a marmite book – you’d either love it or hate it. I loved it, although that sounds too bland for my response. It took me a while to read it, notContinue reading “He Cromwell”

Back and Forth; prequels and sequels

I love reading book series. My shelves are filled with them, from Trollope’s Barchester Chronicles to Poldark via John le Carré’s Smiley books and Earthsea. There is something comforting about being able to follow one story as it winds on through the years, or one character who keeps marching on down different alleys. But thoughContinue reading “Back and Forth; prequels and sequels”

The Question Is…

I write novels which are more concerned with motivation and effect that with who, when and where, because, for me, characters provide the central element of a good story. Just to be conventional, I am willing to concede that a novel also needs a plot, to carry the reader from A to B, preferably byContinue reading “The Question Is…”

It’s a Crime

Crime Fiction comes in many forms – international thrillers, historical mysteries, psychological dramas, police procedurals, court dramas, cosy crime… the sub-genres are endless, but they all dwell on crime. What is the appeal? Real life crime comes in many sub-divisions too, but crime fiction ignores most of them. You don’t get thrillers centring on crimesContinue reading “It’s a Crime”

In Praise of Libraries

I was at an event in a library a couple of years ago, chatting with author Roz Watkins about crime writing. The library was Newport Community Library. No, not that Newport, the other very small ancient borough in Pembrokeshire. It is maintained by volunteers and donations because all around the country small libraries are beingContinue reading “In Praise of Libraries”

Apples and Other Memories

My novel, The Unravelling, begins with Karen Rothwell driving home from work on a miserable night. An apple drops from her bag and rolls into a gutter. That is enough to spark memories of a girl she hasn’t thought about for 35 years. I don’t think I have been blocking out any memories, all theseContinue reading “Apples and Other Memories”

Welcoming Guest Author Judith Barrow

Originally posted on Write Minds:
We welcome Judith Barrow today, talking about her research and settings Hello Judith, and welcome to the blog. First of all, could we ask what kind of research you do? Writing historical family sagas necessitates a lot of research. It’s what I enjoy. It’s fun discovering the fashions of an…

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Historical Family Saga THE COVENANT by @ThorneMoore @honno

Originally posted on Rosie Amber:
Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com Georgia has been reading The Covenant by Thorne Moore. The Owen family are bound by covenant to hold a tenancy of 24 acres, 1 rood and 8 perches and Leah sacrifices years doing her duty to her family and a…

Gwen and Other Names

A choice of names for characters is always tricky. Never have too many characters with names starting with the same letter. And never use the same name twice, even though, in real life, you probably know half a dozen Janes and Jameses. Maybe go for names that have a certain significance, athough sometimes the author’sContinue reading “Gwen and Other Names”